Lighten Up Your Interiors for Summer

Just like you’d winterize your home by putting out extra blankets and burning scented candles, you can #summerize your space by bringing a #cooler, lighter touch to your furnishings, says L’Image Design Studio. First, eliminate excess #knickknacks that make your space feel #cluttered or constricting. Opt for lighter colors and swap out heavy, dark blankets and comforters for lighter ones. Give your houseplants some outdoor time. Wash the windows and replace heavy drapes with sheers. And finally, store any off-season items you won’t be using in labeled bins or donate them if you don’t foresee using them again.

Donate as You Spring-Clean

If you’re feeling more energetic and optimistic lately, it’s likely a physical response to the expanded daylight hours and warmer weather that has come to be known as spring fever. Embrace it, says Lakeview Regional Medical Center, and expand upon those good feelings. Open the windows, plant a garden, leave work early, exercise or go for a hike outdoors, and get together with your friends without screens in-between. Or use that spring fever to do some #spring #cleaning — and #donate any extra #stuff you don’t need to ClothingDonations.org. #SpringFever

Make the Most of a Spring Break

With school spring breaks and Easter celebrations, many students will have a full week off this month to spend with their families or take a trip. That kind of down time is rare to get, so if you have (or can take) the week off together, make the most of it.

There are plenty of options for a cost-effective trip for the entire family, Family Destinations says, from spring skiing in Colorado and Upstate New York to soaking up the sun in Puerto Rico, Cancun or Jamaica.

Thriftier still — but just as fun — are road trips and camping trips. Whether you want to sleep under the stars or see the city lights, there’s likely an option within a day’s drive of home. Try Roadtrippers and other apps to plan your adventure.

The thriftiest and safest option, of course, is the staycation. While it might be a letdown for kids with wanderlust, you can make it special by planning leisure activities that you don’t normally make time for on school days.

Hikes, scavenger hunts, museum visits and art projects are all fair game. Or visit the library, camp out in the backyard or make your own film festival, National Heritage Academies suggests.

Another good idea is to spend a day or two #decluttering and #cleaning up your house in order to get it ready for the busy summer season. Chances are that there’s a lot of #stuff that needs to find a new home, not to mention some dirt and grime from the winter.

Sort through that stuff, and #donate whatever you don’t want to ClothingDonations.org. Challenge your kids to sort through, #organize and #declutter their possessions, too; there may be any number of school outfits that no longer fit or toys that get ignored.

Then, reward them (and/or yourself) with a special #spring-break outing! You’ll come home to a #cleaner, more #clutter-free place.

Make Your Home Into a Hygge Haven

As readers may recall from previous wintertime posts, hygge (pronounced “HOO-guh”) is the Scandinavian concept of creating warmth, comfort and conviviality in spite of the frigid outdoor temperatures. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, we at The Organizing Blog thought it was time to offer a hygge update.

With the pandemic entering its third year, it’s worth noting that hygge jibes well with the stay-at-home ethic. It doesn’t require dressing up — just the opposite, in fact. Your most comfortable loungewear, flannels and woolen socks will be the height of hygge style.

A hygge home always includes flickering lights, according to Self magazine. Whether it’s a crackling fire in the fireplace, an arrangement of candles or holiday string lights, lighting should be muted, soothing and romantic.

You’ll also need a warm blanket to hygge-fy your home. Quiet pursuits such as a good book or jigsaw puzzle are extremely hygge, but practitioners are also welcome to binge-watch their favorite television programs. Calm relaxation is the key.

Eating in a hygge household should also be geared toward warmth: Coffee, tea and hot chocolate; hearty roasts and stews; and home-baked breads, pastries and cakes are definitely on the menu. Indulgent but fortifying, hygge foods might be called hearth-healthy.

Practiced most assiduously in the world’s happiest country, Denmark, hygge espouses #simplicity over #clutter. Too much #stuff, and hygge becomes difficult to achieve. After all, a #cluttered atmosphere is a hectic and stressful atmosphere.

Hygge and #decluttering are a match made in heaven,” says Do You. “While hygge by itself offers moments of comfort, you might be distracted or stressed by feeling that you are in an environment that is #untidy, cluttered or reminds you of things pending.”

If you’re stuck in a cluttered home, start by setting aside a small hygge haven; a single room can be your #sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to calm and cozy feelings, and #donate the things you won’t need again to  ClothingDonations.org.

Then, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate or whatever best warms your bones against the winter chill. You may just find that hygge is the #simplified lifestyle you’ve been missing!

Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!